Bruce Lee's Seattle

Take a virtual tour through the sights of Bruce Lee's time in Seattle.

1959 - Departs Hong Kong for a new life in the USA (1959)Bruce Lee Foundation

Ruby Chow's

A young Bruce Lee, in front of "Ruby Chow's" Restaurant, in Seattle. Ruby & Ping Chow were the first to open a Chinese restaurant outside of Seattle's Chinatown. Ping was a close colleague of Bruce's Dad, Lee Hoi-Chuen. 

1122 Jefferson St, Seattle WA 98104.

Bruce lived with the Chow's and worked as a busboy when he first moved to Seattle. One of Bruce's early training locations, the first of what could loosely be called a "school", was in a First Hill parking garage across the street from Ruby Chow's. The restaurant, originally located on this corner, has long been demolished, and the First Hill parking garage is now part of the Swedish Hospital Complex.

Bruce Lee during his time in Seattle (Circa. 1961 / 62) by UnknownBruce Lee Foundation

Edison Technical School

Towards the end of 1959, Bruce enrolled in the Edison Technical School (now Seattle Central College) and graduated with his high school diploma, before attending the University of Washington in 1961. 

1791 Broadway, Seattle WA 98122.

Seattle Central College as it looks today. Go ahead, take a walk around.

Bruce at a demonstration with Taky Kimura and Linda Emery (Circa. 1963 / 64) by UnknownBruce Lee Foundation

Garfield High School

Bruce's future wife, Linda Emery (pictured here with Bruce and friend Taky Kimura at a demonstration), went to Garfield High School in Seattle's urban Central District.

400 23rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98122.

Bruce gave demonstrations at Garfield High, and was asked by one of the school's professors to teach Chinese Philosophy to his students. This is the school today.

NE 45th & Brooklyn Ave, Seattle, WA 98195.

Bruce enrolled at the University of Washington in March 1961, majoring in philosophy. He dropped out in the Spring of '64, moving to Oakland, CA to open another branch of the Jun Fan Gung-Fu Institute.

The "Columns" at the University of Washington (Circa 1962/63) by Bruce LeeBruce Lee Foundation

The University of Washington

Bruce's Gung-Fu group also trained on this field surrounded by tall white columns on the UW Campus.

W Stevens Way NE, Seattle WA 98195.

It was during a class here at the Sylvan Grove Theatre and Columns one day that Bruce first asked Linda on a date, to go to the Seattle Space Needle.

400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109.

On their first date on October 25th, 1963, Bruce gave Linda a tiny troll doll with long pink hair tied back into a ponytail. He said, "This reminds me of you when you come to the Student Union building after swimming." From then on the pair were smitten with each other, and married the following year.

4515 16th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105.

Bruce Lee and Linda Emery were married here, at the University Congressional Church, on August 17th, 1964.

Bruce Lee Meditating at Lake Washington by Bruce LeeBruce Lee Foundation

Lake Washington

Bruce was drawn to the waters of Lake Washington, and would regularly visit the area. Bruce can be seen here meditating on one of the many docks. 

Lake Washington Blvd
Bruce wrote poems referencing the lake..."The deep silence of the lake, cuts off all tumult from me. Along the bank, I move with slow footsteps."

Bruce's first "Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute" in Seattle. (Circa. 1963) by UnknownBruce Lee Foundation

Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute

The first location of what could loosely be called Bruce's "school", The Jun Fan Gung-Fu Institute, was in the parking garage (pictured) in Seattle's First Hill area. 

418 1/2 8th Avenue South, Seattle WA 98104.

The small half door to the left of the "Szechuan Noodle Bowl", was the entry way to the second location of Bruce's martial arts school, the "Jun Fan Gung-Fu Institute" or JFGFI.

653 S Weller St, Seattle, WA 98104.

Now the "Ho Ho Restaurant", this was the third location of Bruce's school, the JFGFI, before moving to a final location in the University District. Classes were held in the basement.

4750 University Way NE, Seattle WA 98105.

Now the "University Way Apartments", this was the final location of the JFGFI in Seattle. Bruce lived in a room at the back of the space.

Bruce Eating With a Friend - Seattle Era (Circa. 1961/62) by UnknownBruce Lee Foundation

The Tai Tung Restaurant

Bruce eating with a friend during his time in Seattle. One of Bruce's dishes of choice was Oyster Sauce Beef. 

655 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104.

The "Tai Tung Restaurant" is the oldest Chinese restuarant in Seattle, and was one of Bruce's favorite places to eat during his time in the city.

The Wing Luke Museum (2014) by The Wing Luke MuseumBruce Lee Foundation

The Wing Luke Museum

Bruce's legacy is further represented today in Seattle. The Wing Luke Museum is the location of the "Do You Know Bruce" Bruce Lee Exhibit. 

719 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104.

Opened in 2014, the exhibit is set to run until 2019. You can see the 2nd location of Bruce's school through an exhibit window, and the "Tai Tung Restaurant" is a few blocks down King St.

The Engraved Bench at Bruce's Gravesite by Shannon LeeBruce Lee Foundation

Lakeview Cemetery

"The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering." Bruce Lee. The engraved bench at Bruce's gravesite, featuring one of his most prominent philosophical quotes. Bruce Lee was laid to rest at Lakeview Cemetery on July 31st, 1973. 

1554 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112.

His grave, next to that of his son Brandon, is about halfway up the hill. Follow the car path as it turns right, and a small stone-paved path leads down to the grave.

Credits: Story

The "Bruce Lee's Seattle" exhibit was curated by the Bruce Lee Foundation, using Google Streetview.

(C) 2017 Bruce Lee Enterprise, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Created by the Bruce Lee Foundation. Thank you to all our donors and supporters. Without you, this exhibit would not be possible.


BRUCE LEE® and the Bruce Lee signature are registered trademarks of Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC.  The Bruce Lee name, image, likeness and all related indicia are intellectual property of Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Wing Luke Museum "Do You Know Bruce" image used with permission.

Reference Material: "Bruce Lee: Evolution of a Martial Artist" by Tommy Gong.

All other photographs used with permission from Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved, 2017.

To learn more about the Bruce Lee Foundation go to

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Asian Pacific American Cultures
Explore stories and artworks across Asian Pacific American Cultures
View theme
Google apps